Monday, 12 May 2008
The Congressional Record is the US equivalent of 'Hansard', a substantially verbatim record of what is said. One major difference between the US and UK legislatures is that in America it is possible to include remarks or other material printed into the record, without having to read them out - these are known as "Extensions of Remarks". It is commomplace for a member to ask permission of the presiding officer to "revise and extend".
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has produced some useful guides to using the Congressional Record
A Users Guide to the Congressional Record - http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/98-265_20030717.pdf
Congressional Record: Its Production, Distribution and Accessibility - http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Congressional_Records/PDF/Congressional_Record_Distribution.pdf
The Congressional Record itself can be found at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/crecord/index.html. It is worth looking at the Daily Digest first.